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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasedena, CA

A Salute to the Mars Pathfinder
News story originally written on November 7, 1997

NASA can no longer contact the Mars Pathfinder rover because its main battery is no longer supplying power to the craft. Pathfinder completed a fantastic mission before contact was lost!

The Pathfinder mission lasted three times longer than initially expected. It returned 2.6 billion bits of information, including some fantastic Martian images and over 15 chemical analyses of rocks surrounding the lander.

"This mission has advanced our knowledge of Mars tremendously and will surely be a beacon of success for upcoming missions to the red planet," added Dr. David Baltimore, president of the California Institute of Technology. "Done quickly and within a very limited budget, Pathfinder sets a standard for 21st century space exploration."

A salute goes out to all who participated in the project. NASA Administrator, Daniel Goldin, said, "I want to thank the many talented men and women at NASA for making the mission such a phenomenal success. It embodies the spirit of NASA, and serves as a m odel for future missions that are faster, better, and cheaper. Today, NASA's Pathfinder team should take a bow, because America is giving them a standing ovation for a stellar performance."

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